Saturday, August 20, 2011

Preservation Department Head

The Ohio University Libraries seeks applications and nominations for an innovative and collaborative professional to provide leadership and direction for preservation and conservation efforts throughout the University Libraries.   The successful candidate will be joining the Libraries at an exciting time; development of a new strategic plan is currently underway, with a vision of the Libraries as a “dynamic gateway for the discovery, creation and exchange of knowledge, enabling students, faculty and staff to realize their promise and achieve excellence.”

The collections of the Ohio University Libraries currently include approximately 2.25 million print volumes and 750,000 digital volumes, with notable strength in Southeast Asian and African materials, fine arts, and special collections related to contemporary history and journalism.  The Preservation Department includes a spacious and well-equipped conservation lab located in the Southeast Ohio Regional Library Depository building, and funding for preservation includes support from one of the Libraries’ largest endowments.

The Southeast Ohio Regional Library Depository is located two miles from campus, and is managed and staffed by the Ohio University Libraries.  It is part of a network of high density remote storage facilities that are managed cooperatively by Ohio’s state universities.  This facility holds approximately 750,000 volumes in climate-controlled conditions; depository staff delivers material to the Ohio University campus daily.

Reporting to the Assistant Dean for Collections and Access, this position manages the activities of the Preservation Department (1.5 FTE non-exempt staff), and oversees the high-density collection storage facility (1 FTE administrative staff and 1 FTE non-exempt staff).  The department head must also work closely and collaboratively with most library departments, particularly with the staff of Stacks and Media Management, the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, the Fine Arts Library, Digital Initiatives, the Center for International Collections, and the Music Library.  Specifically, the head of the Preservation Department:

·         Establishes guidelines for appropriate physical storage and maintenance of the Libraries’ collections in all locations.
·         Evaluates conservation needs of items from the Libraries’ general and special collections, and determines optimal treatment.
·         Treats rare and special collections materials, including books and non-print materials
·         Hires, trains, and manages performance of Preservation Unit employees, and oversees operation of Southeast Ohio Regional Library Depository.
·         Educates library staff on preservation issues; leads disaster preparedness & response planning efforts related to library collections.
·         Responds to disasters which threaten and/or damage library collections; coordinates the salvage and treatment of damaged materials.
·         Advises on digital preservation initiatives in the University Libraries.
·         Pursues and administers grant proposals for preservation projects.
·         Assists with special projects related to management of campus and depository collections.
·         Engages in regular professional development activities as part of continuing commitment to increasing effectiveness.


·         A master’s degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited institution, or a master’s degree in another relevant subject such as public history
·         Formal training and experience in conservation techniques on a wide range of library materials (demonstrated through a portfolio of the applicant’s work)
·         Minimum 3 years progressive responsibility in conservation work in a library, museum, or archival setting
·         Demonstrated commitment to data-informed decision making processes
·         Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills
·         Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

·         Demonstrated knowledge of current and emerging trends in academic libraries as well as in digital and print preservation
·         Successful supervisory experience
·         Experience in leading teams and fostering collaborative relationships
·         Experience writing and administering grants

Ohio University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, and OhioLINK. Library facilities include Vernon R. Alden Library, the Music/Dance Library, and the Southeast Ohio Regional Library Depository.

The Libraries’ Hwa-Wei Lee Center for International Collections is home to one of the nation’s outstanding Southeast Asia collections, with extensive print holdings from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Singapore.  In recent years the Libraries have acquired the Yao Ceremonial Artifacts Collection, approximately 2,000 pieces of ceremonial and temple art from the Yao culture of North Vietnam, as well as the Asian art collection of university and Libraries’ benefactor, Frederick Harris.  Important collections in the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections include the papers of newspaper entrepreneur E.W. Scripps and WWII reporter and author Cornelius Ryan, documenting both major events and journalism history of the 20th century.  The Libraries have recently built on collection strengths in contemporary history and journalism by acquiring the archive of award-winning photojournalist Lynn Johnson.  Other special collections include artifacts of the Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Company, band leader Sammy Kaye, and Arts & Crafts pioneer Dard Hunter.  More information about Ohio University Libraries can be found at

Ohio University is a comprehensive, state-assisted institution classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research Universities (high research activity) institution. It is located in Athens, a scenic, culturally rich community 75 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio. With 20,000 students enrolled on the Athens campus and over 8,000 students on five regional campuses, the university offers a diverse, dynamic and collegial atmosphere to its students, faculty and staff.

Salary & Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience and education. Ohio University employees enjoy a liberal benefits package, including 22 days annual vacation, generous insurance, and Ohio state employee or alternative retirement.

Review of applications begins September 26; however applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified.  Position available immediately.

Ohio University is committed to the diversity of faculty, staff and students. Applicants who will enrich the diversity of our campus are especially encouraged to apply.

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